Housefull 4, in the recent few weeks, has been in the news for all the wrong reasons. Two of its cast and crew members, Nana Patekar and Sajid Khan have been accused of sexual harassment owing to the raging MeToo movement in Bollywood. It began with Tanushree Dutta opening about her experience with Nana Patekar almost ten years ago during the shooting of a film called, Horn OK Please in 2008. Where it was always underlined the prevalence of casting couch in the industry, it still has come as a shock as to how many women have become mere prey to the men’s carnal needs with power and money in the film industry.
But finally, Bollywood has decided to act against it, and not take such matters lightly. Akshay Kumar who is one of the lead actors in the film had said that he would not be associated with any of the accused, hence, the shooting of the film was at a halt since then. In fact, Akshay went out and gave an official statement through a tweet which read:
“I’ve just landed back in the country last night and reading all the news has been very disturbing. I’ve requested the producers of Housefull 4 to cancel the shoot until further investigation. This is something that requires stringent action. I will not work with any proven offenders and all those who have been subjugated to harassment should be heard and given the justice they deserve.”
Sajid Khan, who was supposed to direct the film was also accused by several women of sexual harassment and he had been replaced earlier. Farhad Samji who co-directed Housefull 3 has been roped in to direct Housefull 4. The good news is that, now, the Housefull 4 team has found a replacement for Nana Patekar as well. As per the recent reports, Rana Daggubati is the one who will be playing Nana’s character in the film.
Rana will be playing the role of a Ghazal singer in the film. Rana Daggubati is an insanely popular South Indian star who has appeared in several Bollywood films as well. About being a part of Housefull 4, he said,
“It is always good to find work outside of Hyderabad, get to learn so much and do so many new things. I’ve never been part of a genre like Housefull and it’s always exciting to work with different genres. Working with Akshay Kumar again, Sajid (Nadiadwala) and Farhad (Samji) is something I am really looking forward to”
Akshay Kumar and Rana Daggubati earlier worked together in a popular Bollywood film, Baby. This would be the second time the two would be sharing screen space together. As Rana said, he has usually worked in fiction dramas and has done intense roles. It would be new for him to be a part of a comedy genre as well as new for the audience to see him do comedy on screen.
There was a bit of confusion among the team members whether to keep Nana Patekar’s scenes in the film or not and though, earlier sources said, the team might but now it has been confirmed that all of Nana Patekar’s scenes from the film would be chopped off!
Housefull 4 stars Riteish Deshmukh, Bobby Deol, Rana Daggubati, Kriti Sanon, Pooja Hegde, and Kriti Kharbanda along with Akshay Kumar in the lead roles. It is slated to hit the theatres sometime around Diwali in 2019.